Logan, however, was making that no-strings idea harder than she’d expected.

Magnetic confidence and raw sexuality radiated from him, weakening her resolve when he came near. He constantly dropped hints about the night they’d made love, recreating in her mind the passionate moments she’d spent with him. She relived the breathtaking sensuality every time. It had been so easy— too easy—to give up her precious control to his intimate touch, his tantalizing mouth, his hard body, and his protective strength as he’d held her in his arms.

Those memories made it difficult to keep her distance. Yet she had to stay focused. Her future, the final release from the emotional destruction her ex-husband had left in his wake, depended on it.

Her attraction to Logan was seriously inconvenient. Possibly life-altering if she let him consume her existence the way her ex had. She refused to repeat past mistakes. Devastation gnawed at her, because she never wanted to consider Logan a mistake . He was one of the few good things that had happened to her.

But nothing—not even the secret wish to see if they could build something good together—could keep her from achieving true freedom for the first time in her life.

Focusing on what was within her control, she left the bathroom stall to run her hands under cold water until the last of her feverishness faded. Firm in her resolution, she returned to the lower demonstration rooms.

Several guests approached her, asking for further demonstrations. She turned to the studio executive. “You mentioned the system’s other uses.” She maneuvered data across the Invisi-Screen . “Not only can the system work in an office, commercial or military setting, it’s also a powerful force for home and corporate security.”

The system Logan designed was hacker proof and, near as she could tell, impossible to physically penetrate. She wished she’d owned something like this three years ago when she was working a contract job in Philadelphia. It had been midnight when Trevor had shown up on her doorstep after one of his covert ops missions to Africa, ranting about her continued disobedience, how nothing could keep him from his wife. They’d been divorced for ten months at that point. He’d never admitted how he’d found her, despite her efforts to remain elusive. He’d broken into her apartment and the police barely arrived before… She shuddered. It had been a close call. Too close.

Her heart beat faster, and her throat began to close. She swayed on her feet, gripping the edge of the table, fighting the familiar symptoms. She hated this constant anxiety, the way she jumped at every shadow, unable to trust anyone. And knowing Trevor could appear in her life any second and tear it apart again.

It was only a matter of time before he made good on his threats.

She swallowed hard, trying to calm herself. Soon, none of that would matter. France had charged him with International Crimes, for reasons she didn’t want to know, and he’d never be allowed in that country. While the charges brought against him in the U.S. were dropped, the day she stepped off the plane in Paris she’d never have to worry about him again.

Steadying herself, she continued her mini presentation. “Let’s look at how the system can work in a more personal setting.” She pulled up blueprints in which the system was fully integrated, with detailed specs. “Home installation is minimally invasive, operational within five business days, depending on square footage and option upgrades.”

Logan truly had thought of everything. Whatever nightmare scenario of a break-in she’d brought up to him, and she’d had plenty of sleepless nights to imagine them all, he’d shown her how his system combated each devious technique.

“With a combination of the technology you’ve seen demonstrated today, a stalker—er, burglar—is caught before he realizes he’s detected.” She winced at her slip. No one seemed to notice.

Then she felt Logan’s powerful presence beside her. Threads of anxiety in her muscles unknotted. Her shoulders relaxed.

Logan backed up her explanation in his deep, steady voice. “Because my system tracks the pattern of steps, the pace, and the vital signs of an intruder outside the house, the police arrive before he breaks in.”

“Imagine the freedom, the peace of mind,” she said wistfully, “knowing you’re completely safe. You choose who comes and goes. You have total control.”

“And that’s why I do what I do.”

She glanced up to find Logan’s gaze fastened on her. For a moment she stood transfixed by his rich cinnamon eyes.

“Mr. Stone?” A guest broke the trance. She dragged her gaze away, her cheeks hot. Dr. Cartier held out his hand, and Logan shook it. “I am most impressed with this level of ingenuity. Here is my card. I hope we will be in touch.”

“Definitely. I appreciate you traveling all this way.”

Dr. Cartier’s gray eyebrows lifted above his round-rimmed glasses. “Should you decide to channel your efforts in the pursuit of science, contact me at CERN. I’d find a place for your talents within the hour.”

Logan’s lips curved in a half-smile. “That’s quite an honor.”

While his skills were likely on par, she couldn’t imagine Logan surrounded by a bunch of egghead scientists solving the space/time continuum. He was a man of action, in a state of constant forward motion even sitting behind his desk, which he rarely did for long.

The elevator dinged and opened at the end of the hallway. The running lights along the wide corridor revealed Rick Dunn’s bull-like frame. Her stomach did a nervous flip. Logan’s Chief Security Officer didn’t like her, and he made no attempt to hide it. What she’d done to offend him was a mystery, one she’d rather avoid than solve. Why make waves when she’d only be here another six short weeks?

Rick scanned the main demonstration room, his scowl more pronounced than usual. His shoulders looked stiff in his suit. He didn’t appear to enjoy tightly packed spaces anymore than she did. When his eyes narrowed on her she moved away from Logan.

In this setting avoiding Rick would be too obvious. She spotted the Louvre Museum curator and explained in French that she had someone she’d like him to meet. She steered the older man toward Rick.

“Mr. Dunn,” she said brightly, “this is Monsignor Olevette, from the Louvre. In Paris.”

“I know my geography,” he muttered, crossing his arms.

She introduced the men. “I thought Mr. Olevette would enjoy hearing about the security installation project you managed for the Chicago Museum of Art. You tailored the system to their needs perfectly.”


Tags: Vanessa Waltz Billionaire Bodyguard Suspense
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